It was a stirring message of unity. On Monday, 16 years after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks on American soil that saw planes flown into the Twin Towers and the Pentagon, and brave passengers divert one into a Pennsylvania field, President Donald Trump honored the memories of the dead and the heroics woven through the actions of so many.
At a 9/11 commemoration ceremony at the Pentagon, Trump recalled that moment: “On that day, not only did the world change, but we all changed. Our eyes were opened to the depths of the evil we face. But in that hour of darkness, we also came together with renewed purpose. Our differences never looked so small, our common bonds never felt so strong.”
Listening to those words, it’s easy to recall how the country came together, led by their representatives in Congress, who, though shaken, stood together, some emerging from the Capitol building — the intended target that those passengers in Pennsylvania sacrificed their lives to save — to sing “God Bless America.”
Then, in the days after, while sorrow and shock still hung in the air, President George W. Bush visited a mosque to assure American Muslims that their fellow citizens considered them Americans, not suspects. “The face of terror is not the true faith of Islam,” he said.
But it was just a moment.